Maintain your driveway and keep it in the best condition possible, by following some of our top tips to combat oil stains, kill moss, and to help with the general upkeep and cleaning of your drive.
How To Get Oil Stains Off A Driveway
So you’ve had your driveway resurfaced (hopefully by us!) but now there’s an oil stain lurking around and you’re not sure how to get rid of it. Whilst oil stains aren’t the easiest to remove, there are plenty of ways to banish them from your driveways, garage floors, paths or patios. Read on to discover effective ways to banish unsightly patches of oil staining your driveway.
Shop Bought Oil Stain Remover
Perhaps the simplest and most obvious solution is to use a shop bought Oil Stain Remover. Retailers like Halfords and Amazon stock these products at a relatively low cost, as may your local independent hardware store.
Use A Pressure Washer (Sparingly!)
We always recommend that block paving is best cleaned by a specialist company using a rotating brush and cleaning chemicals. This is because the use and frequent overuse of a jet spray can wash out the sealing sand causing blocks to move and water to destabilise the laying surface.
Having said this pressure washers are a great way to help maintain your driveway if used sparingly; helpful for removing moss, general cleaning and oil stains.
If you’ve got a pressure washer (or your neighbour does!) have a go at the oil stain with that. You might want to try soaking up any of the excess oil with something highly absorbent like cat litter, or wiping with a dry rag, before you go in with the pressure washer though.
If you’d rather not leave the house then there are several household items that can come to your aid.
Some people find that pouring toilet bleach on the oil stain, leaving it to sit for about 3 hours, then rinsing away with a hose does the trick perfectly.
Alternatively, cover the stain with baking soda or a powdered laundry detergent. These will both help to break down and dissolve the oil. Add a drop of hot water to whichever powder you’ve chosen to create a paste and scrub at the stain, before rinsing away with more water. You might have to repeat this a couple of times before the oil mark disappears completely. If you don’t have either of the above hanging about the house, you could also try the same method with washing up liquid or vinegar (allow the latter to soak for a bit before you add hot water and scrub).
Please remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling harsh chemicals, and be aware of children and pets when leaving products to soak on your driveway.
How to Clean Your Driveway
Here are some alternative methods to keep your driveway looking spick and span without a pressure washer. Knowing how to clean your driveway will help maintain it in great condition.
For this method you can use bleach, washing up liquid or laundry detergent. If you’d rather avoid harsh chemicals or are concerned about damage to nearby plants, then use distilled white vinegar.
Whichever you choose, you’ll need about 1 cup of product per 5-10 litres of water. For washing up liquid you won’t want as much – more like ½ a cup to 12 litres.
First, you’re going to want to start by giving your driveway a good sweep with a stiff bristled brush (this will help avoid any lumps of dirt or soil turning muddy when you add water). Now spray the area with a hose to remove any remaining dirt. Pour your detergent or vinegar mixture onto the driveway and scrub again with the broom. You might then want to leave the mixture to sit and do it’s thing for 15 minutes to 1 hour, before rinsing away again with the hose.
Vinegar is also a great way of removing rust stains from concrete, simply pour the vinegar directly onto the stain, scrub and soak for half an hour before rinsing away. Repeat if necessary.
How To Kill Moss On Your Driveway
Is there moss creeping through the cracks and beginning to bother you? Mosses can be harmful to your driveway or patio and drastically shorten their lifespan, as they lock in moisture that deteriorates the surfaces beneath. Killing and removing the moss that may have built up outside underfoot, is an important step in maintaining your driveway. Luckily, there is a very simple way to kill moss on your driveway. Moss removers are available online or from most popular home stores. Or, for a homemade solution you could use bleach or white vinegar. Vinegar is of course the more natural solution, especially favourable if you are keen to keep your driveway safe and friendly for any wildlife who might share it with you.
If you do choose to use vinegar, make a half and half solution with water, put the mixture in a bottle and spray over the moss you would like to kill. Leave to soak for 40 minutes to 1 hour. After this time, you may find you need to apply another layer of vinegar, however if not, use a stiff bristled broom, scrubbing brush or a spade to scrape away the dead moss.
If using bleach, take about 1 cup of bleach to 4 cups of water. Again, put the mixture in a spray bottle and transfer an even layer onto the moss. The bleach will take about a week to do it’s work, after which time you can attack with a stiff bristled broom, scrubbing brush or scrape with a spade to remove the dead moss.
We know picking the right material for your driveway can be a daunting decision, check out our handy guide to help make your decision.